It’s such a dramatic post title, right?
For the past few weeks, I’ve put myself through a pretty significant amount of self-inflicted Ali Bashing. I am — and have always been — exceptionally tough on myself. And lately, man, I am just not giving myself a break.
Since leaving the hospital back around Labor Day and essentially re-starting my year as a healthy human, my body has changed somewhat dramatically. Basically, it started functioning like a normal person’s body. And apparently I had forgotten what that’s like. Suddenly, I was eating food — and it was staying in me for more than five minutes. I was so excited to get back to this normal lifestyle that I really started eating food. Every food I could find.
In the past month and a half, I’ve attended three weddings, gone on two work trips and hit up one bachelorette party in Las Vegas. With the exception of some wine at one wedding and in Vegas, I haven’t been drinking, but I’ve been gorging on food in portions that are probably not deemed acceptable by any suggested serving size.
At the same time, life at work has spun just a little out of control. The hours are getting longer, the days are more stressful and I always have this feeling that I’m running out of time.
I gave up strength training in favor of running more miles to prepare for the marathon, and unsurprisingly my arms and stomach are bulking up in the non-muscular way.
So yeah, I beat myself up a little about this stuff. My clothes fit differently these days, and I’m not thrilled to be going into the marathon carrying some extra pounds. I doubt those will help me up that Fifth Avenue stretch at mile 22.
But being hard on myself as my body is adjusting to actually being healthy gets a little old. I know that once the marathon is over I can return to my beloved Chisel class and start lifting heavy stuff again, instead of just lifting entire bread baskets into my face. Plus, I know I’d rather be healthy and functioning than sickly and miserable.
Instead of being all “I want to be rich and I want awesome abs and I want more time in the day,” I have decided to play a light-hearted little game called “Other things I wish I could change about myself.”
It’s fun. You can play, too.
I wish I didn’t cry so easily. At movies, both happy and sad. On the subway, when I think of something sad. When I really really really care about something. Basically, I cry at everything. Ick.
It would be nice to have better skin. I don’t get zits or cute little blackheads on my nose. I get mountains. They’re so scary. Also, I have this habit of “thinking” I’m getting a zit, so I pick at my face until it’s all red and tragic-looking. You’d think I would have outgrown that habit in my teen years and after reading a million women’s magazines every month that say “stop picking at your face.” But no. That lesson is lost on me.
I wish I could better recognize what’s worth my anxiety and what’s not — before the inevitable freakout occurs. I think Brian wishes this for me, too. When I’m in the heat of the moment, every single thing is worth a spaz-fest. Examples include SeamlessWeb not loading my order fast enough, the subway being more than 3 minutes away (that’s forever in NYC underground time, people) and Brian telling me he “doesn’t care” what we have for dinner. How can you not care what we have for dinner? Dinner is such an amazing meal. I’m working on figuring out which of these things are actually not a big deal. (All of them. I know the answer is all of them. I swear I’m a super-chill person.)
I wish the endurance that carries me through a marathon could also get me up a dang flight of subway stairs. Why why why can I run 20 miles and feel great afterward, but I simply cannot power through the turnstiles and up onto the street without completely losing my breath?
I wish I looked more natural walking in heels.
I always think I’ve got it down as I’m strutting down 7th Avenue to grab lunch…and then I catch my bent-kneed, bow-legged Mariah Carey-esque reflection in a bank window. It’s like I’m stomping around trying to create potholes with my feet. But whatever. At least in my head I’ve got it going on.
I would like not to be covered in chafe scars. I realize the sheer sexiness of that statement. I’m fine with the giant scar on my knee from that time I was standing still and fell off my bike. That at least makes me laugh. But the sports bra burns on my back and chest? Those are not quite as badass. Or funny. In fact, they’re straight-up ugly, and I could do without them. (And yes, I’m well aware of Body Glide, and I love that stuff. Still happens sometimes, though.)
I want to be able to carry a tune.
Don’t get me wrong, I can karaoke the shit out of several Celine Dion classics and one or two Whitney Houston jams. Just ask Brian: I practice every night and let my yowling echo throughout the Upper East Side. But I’d like a wider vocal range. My voice sucks. I don’t even do the “om” chant at the end of a yoga class, both because it makes me feel weird and because I don’t want the instructor stopping class to find the loudly dying manatee in the room. I also frequently manage to butcher “Happy Birthday” and the Hanukkah prayer. It would be cool to be a little less manatee and a little more songbirdy.
I’d like to be more comfortable outside my comfort zone. I hate it there. And I bet I could be a faster runner if I were willing to get a little more uncomfortable a lot more often. Sooo who wants to come push my lazy butt around a track?
Just once in life, I want to watch a movie — or even a sitcom or YouTube video — at home and stay awake for it.
This trait comes from my mom. I’m all, “Yes, I’ve been dying to see this awesome new movie, let’s totally watch it!” And the next thing you know, I’m zonked out and probably snoring, twitching and sleep-eating. It doesn’t matter the time of day or if I’m upright on the couch or laying down in bed. I simply cannot keep my eyes open for the duration of a film if I’m in the comfort of my own home.
So those are just a few little things I’d adjust about myself.
SERIOUSLY, IT’S FUN, TRY IT: What would you change about yourself? Go for the non-serious stuff. It’s more pleasant than the “I wish I could resist a cheeseburger covered in brownies” stuff. And is it just me or does that sound oddly good…? No? No one. Fine, more for me, then.